The Root Bench
Korean architect Yong Ju Lee creates a public art furniture that creates spatial connectivity.
This is circle-shaped branched out public furniture with a diameter of 30metre is installed in the grass and mimics the dynamic shape of roots spreading throughout the park.
“It provides visual stimulus creating a strong contrast to the background of the spacious outdoor park. The main concept continued from the winning proposal is that the organic shape sprawling out from the center creates spatial connectivity,” says Lee. This is not just visual stimulation but is also a bench that people can rest on while sitting and leaning on its different heights.
The art piece was designed through computer algorithms that generated the bench’s three-dimensional geometry. This mathematical model, known as a reaction-diffusion system, describes the change in space and time of the concentration of one or more chemical substances. Thus, the overall radial form was generated with the installation merging into its background (grass). The metal frame with concrete footing supports the overall form as the main structure and the wooden deck covers it, making for comfortable seating.
“As well as suggesting a complete shape of a circle, the Root Bench is fused into the surrounding grass and blurs the boundary between artificial installation and natural environment,” interprets the architect, philosophically.
It is finished in three different heights: child chair (250mm), adult chair (450mm), and table (75mm). The rhythmical shape can suggest fresh stimulation to Hangang Park and provide various aspects of interaction and relaxation.
Since we have associated social distancing as the new way of life, we ask the architect, if the bench is practical during and after Covid times.
Lee opinions that the bench is fully functional and as the benches are distributed far enough, they are safe to be enjoyed even during the COVID19 era.
But he also cautions that architects need to think and design keeping these factors in mind, “We should think about the environment more directly than ever before. Also, other scientific concepts should be fused into our design.”
Project name: Root Bench
Architect’s Firm: Yong Ju Lee Architecture
Project location: 302-17 Ichon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Completion Year: 2018
Gross Built Area: 700 sqm
Lead Architects: Yong Ju Lee
Design team: Seung Joon Lee, HyeokJun Dong, Seongmin Moon
Construction: Sunjin Plus
Client: Hangang Art Park
Photo credits: Kyungsub Shin, Dae Won Lee, Kyung Mo Choi, Yong Ju Lee Architecture